The Mississippi Highway patrol finished their Christmas enforcement period with 0 fatalities for the first time in three years. Another enforcement period will go into effect tonight at 6 p.m. as we enter the New Year’s Eve weekend. All of the available MHP officers will be out and about to ensure the safety of Mississippi motorists.
Troopers will be conducting multiple safety checkpoints at various locations in order to remove impaired drivers from the roadways. MHP Captain Johnny Poulos says that it’s important to remember that just because a designated driver hasn’t been drinking as much as everyone else, doesn’t mean they can’t be impaired.
“We want everyone to enjoy to enjoy the festivities that they have planned, but if you are going to alcohol in the celebration, please have a SOBER DD in place. We, unfortunately, have to arrest DDs all the time because they think their BAC isn’t above the legal limit and they take the chance of driving, and then they suffer the consequence,” Poulos said.
Poulos says that there is an increased risk of impaired drivers out on the roads this weekend, and that increases the importance of focusing on the road and decreasing distracted driving such as texting while driving.
“A lot of innocent people are injured and killed in traffic crashed every day – people that are out there trying to do the right thing. It’s so important to understand the defensive driving perspective; no distractions inside the vehicle. The drivers that are not impaired have to be focused because there’s a possibility that when that impaired driver crosses into your lane that you can make an evasive move. We need everyone focused on driving this weekend,” Poulos said.
During the 2016 period, MHP investigated 94 vehicle crashes including four fatalities on state, federal highways, and interstate systems.
The enforcement period will end on New Year’s Day at midnight.